FuturePlan: Phase 2
The crucial project in achieving the long term aims of Phase 2 is the Exhibition Road Building Project. This will provide a large, underground exhibition gallery for our world class exhibitions with an open public courtyard and café and an improved entrance into the Museum at street level. This will all be set within the beautiful historical facades on the west side of the V&A’s Grade 1 listed buildings, which have never before been on public view. The galleries currently used for exhibitions were not originally intended for this purpose and, in their present configuration, conceal two of the finest 19th-century interiors in the Museum. The Exhibition Road Building Project will allow the V&A to refurbish these historic galleries, and release 1,300 square metres of space for new displays from the permanent collections.
Other highlights of Phase 2 include the creation of two furniture galleries, providing a permanent home for the V&A’s extensive furniture collection for the first time; the restoration of the well-loved Cast Courts; and the complete redisplay and reinterpretation of seven galleries that tell the story of European art and design from 1600 to 1800. They will show work by Europe’s finest 17th and 18th century artists and craftspeople including pieces made for Louis XIV, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great and Charles I. We are also developing offsite projects like the Clothworkers’ Centre for Textile and Fashion Study and Conservation at Blythe House.